La La Land, the city of angels, or Los Angeles, whatever you want to call it, is always at the top of my travels list. My first trip was last summer to visit my dear friend living in the Larchmont area. She was gracious enough to take me on a whirlwind itinerary that included all the must-see spots of L.A.
It is this same dear friend that invited me for a second trip to L.A. in early March. I immediately fell in love with the city and honestly, Cali, in general. I hope to keep adding to my travel diaries more cities in Cali such as Big Sur, Santa Barbara, San Francisco and more! In the meantime, you can follow my travel diaries along on Instagram or by searching the hashtag #StrugglingHipsterTravels
In the meantime, I’m putting together the places I visited in case you’d like to add them to your itinerary next time you find yourself hopping out at LAX *cue Miley Cyrus Party In the USA*.
Bardonna Coffee Shop – Larchmont Village I’m so happy the closest coffee shop is not just a Starbucks, but rather this adorable coffee shop. Stop in for the best toast with ricotta and homemade marmalade topped with fresh berries or pomegranate seeds, depending on the season.
Ace Hotel – Downtown LA Delicious brunch followed by drinks on the rooftop. Highly recommend getting a little early to beat the crowd. But it’s totally free to hang out on the rooftop for a bit and enjoy the sun and view.
Smorgasburg – Downtown LA
Pizzana – Brentwood Best pizza in the city!
Tacos Tu Madre – Larchmont
Beverly Hills Hotel Polo Lounge – Beverly Hills This was on my list no matter the price tag. It was not only a great people watching the spot, but it turned into an adventure. Definitely, make a reservation. We sat at the bar and it honestly worked out fine – just let to a bigger story!
Burro – Abbot Kinney If you’re looking for nontraditional souvenir items or house knick-knacks that will have guests asking, “o, where’d you get that,” then this is your shop.
COS – Beverly Hills My little red bikini from last summer is from here and I’m so happy I got the chance to try it on before purchase.
Olive & June – Beverly Hills This is isn’t necessarily a shopping recommendation, but best nail salon I’ve been to since Jin Soon in NYC.
Gorjana – Abbot Kinney Y’all must know I’m a sucker for all things gold and delicate. I’ve shopped this brand before at Nordstrom, but the brick and mortar store is a must if you’re looking for beautiful, delicate jewelry.
Principessa – Abbot Kinney The tagline says they cater to the modern-day flower child, but it’s so much more. Great brands and finds with an awesome price to match. I bought my summer gingham dress from here and it’s something I wear all over my Instagram.
Reformation – Melrose Ave. The technology at this LA brick and mortar makes your shopping experience so unique. If you’ve ever scrolled through the online store, but you have no idea how it looks on, then this shop will be perfect for you. You’ll still be able to scroll through their online store, but in an instant, the item will be ready for you to try on in the dressing room.
Runyon Canyon – Hollywood It’s ok to be a basic gal because it’s such a beautiful view of the city!
The Groundlings – Melrose Ave I loved going to the Comedy Cellar when I lived in NYC, so I recommend when you’re in L.A. as well.
Griffith Observatory – Griffith Park We got there just as the sun was going down which resulted in a beautiful backdrop.
Santa Monica Pier – Santa Monica Tip: do not eat an ice cream surrounded by seagulls. THEY WILL ATTACK. I REPEAT. THEY WILL ATTACK.
It’s a long time coming y’all and I’m happy to share my Austin travel guide! As some of you may know if you’ve followed along my Instagram, I most recently moved back to Texas after living in NYC for the past three years (check out my brunch blog post). It was one of the most difficult decisions I’ve ever had to make, but I won’t get into that now. See, now that I’m back in Texas I get the chance to explore Austin again. I used to visit a lot in college since my best friend attended UT Austin. Hence, I’m already pretty familiar with the city.
This time, I got to take friends that had never visited before and play tour guide to one of the coolest cities. I’m a HUGE planner when it comes to trips and vacations, so I gleefully accepted the challenge. Ready or not – I’ve compiled my Austin travel diary below for y’all to enjoy 🙂
Torchy’s Tacos – To say I have a love for Torchy’s is probably an understatement. I am MADLY in love with Torchy’s and this time around we hit up the Torchy’s in the trailer park and skipped out on those crazy lines on S. Congress. That meant, same great tacos with practically NO wait! Heck YES!
Grizzeldas – Since my girl’s trip involved more than 4 girls, a reservation at Grizzeldas was essential. We got extremely lucky on such a busy weekend. We also happened to stumble upon an AWESOME Sunday happy hour scene – happy hour ALL DAY Sunday. It was a hit all round and the restaurant itself was the cutest dinner spot for a girls night.
Mozart’s Coffee Roasters – Ok, so I stop here mostly for the scenic view of Lake Austin, but any dessert is to die for! Highly recommend to anyone for a quick bite and awesome study session.
Whole Foods – Since this is technically the headquarters, it’s a no brainer to stop in and check out this amazing store for yourself! We had the chance to stop in and grab delicious fresh fruit before heading out to the pool.
BBQ – My first obvious pick is the Salt Lick, but this time around, I couldn’t fit the drive into our schedule. So instead we headed to Cooper’s Old Time Pit and loooved it! I mean, you can’t go wrong with some good old Texas BBQ.
Barton Springs Pool – It’s not just any pool! Barton Springs pool has one of the coldest temperatures all summer long, so you can layout and stay cool all day long.
Stand Up Paddleboarding – This is actually a long time favorite of mine. I used to paddleboard every time I’d visit in college. You can tan, keep cool and workout – all at the same time.
Green Belt – If you’re really up for adventure which will lead you to a beautiful scene at the very end, then hiking the Green Belt is for you. Boy, oh, boy is it a hike! But the oasis waiting for you at the very end is unreal. Sculpture Falls, that is all. I highly recommend waterproof sandals or some sort of shoes that will make it easier to cross the water on rocks.
Welp, I think that just about covers this recent trip, but believe me when I say that I’ll be going back for more. Hope you enjoy your upcoming trip – do you guys have any suggestions for my next trip?
As it’s my last day in the city, I find it very appropriate to reflect on the top brunch places that are on MY list that you absolutely must try. I am definitely a boozy brunch gal if the occasion calls for it, but these little gems I share with you today are perfect if you’re looking for something different. Breakfast is my favorite meal, so trust me when I say these are all must try places.
My love for Cafe Luluc cannot be described in words. When my friend told me that the pancakes are supposed to be amazing at this place, I had no idea how amazing they actually would be! They are the perfect combination of crispy on the outside while still being so fluffy in the inside. This is an absolute must try if you are a sweet tooth person like me during breakfast while still ordering a small side of eggs. It does get crowded on the weekends as it’s such a small place, so I would say be prepared to wait at least 30-4 minutes. Totally worth the wait!
Like I said, I have a sweet tooth, so it’s only natural that Five Leaves is my second favorite brunch spot for their delicious pancakes. Did I mention they’re ricotta pancakes topped with fresh fruit?! Side note – don’t limit yourself to breakfast at Five Leaves because their burger is also delicious.
Anything in the West Village is already so adorable because the neighborhood itself looks like it’s out of a postcard, and this hidden little French gem fits right in! Just stepping right into this tiny little spot you feel transported to Paris because it’s so tiny, you feel slightly crammed like a sardine in the booth. It’s a small price to pay for the melt in your mouth waffles with fresh compote. There is always a wait at this place, so I would recommend getting their early or know that you’re going to wait at least 30-45 minutes.
I know there are a ton more that I’d love to share with you, but then the list would just never end! Hope you enjoy and as I reflect more on some of my NYC places, I’ll be sure to share with you. Comment if you’d like to see more!